January & February 2023


No news is good news, right? Well, there is no news.
Yet more than a few people have been asking how to pray, so I thought I would put something up.

Shelli received another monthly shot at the beginning of January, and is scheduled to receive her third shot at the beginning of February. The second week of February she is scheduled back in Mayo for another round of testing. I understand that they are looking to measure tumor growth in order to determine if the shots have had any effect in slowing their growth, or not.

Currently, Shelli is experiencing more pain and fatigue. It's frustrating for her, but her hope is in the Lord; trusting that all of this is for her good and His glory. No detail surprises Him, and all the details, no matter how rough, align us with Him, as we abide.


 We were at the Mayo Clinic all day yesterday, and Shelli had, what seems to be, every little thing tested. At the end of the day we met again with the doctor in charge of the NET Department, along with an additional oncologist, to review those results.

The tumors throughout Shelli’s liver have grown in size and number. We suspected as much, based upon the fact that the second and third round of Sandostatin shots haven’t alleviated her symptoms quite as well as the first round did – with the past two weeks being especially difficult.

In the words of the lead oncologist yesterday, “It’s time to change the treatment”. Agreed.

What follows feels like a Replay from November. Saying the same thing from November, again in February, reinforces the feeling that we have simply been in a holding pattern, but we have to remind ourselves of our goals and the nature of this cancer.

Primarily, Shelli wants to be part of the solution for others that follow her. Second, the nature of this cancer, as it is currently understood, is that it is not as aggressive as some other cancers – they hope for 5+ years (and many more, if this all works as hoped). Third, we see a very real possibility of radiation being a first-line of treatment, having better outcomes than radiation following chemotherapy. And throughout it all, we are confident that to live is Christ and to die is gain.

We also have to remind ourselves that it was necessary to have gone through these three months of shots without having done more. Because we did that, we have clearly ruled-out Sandostatin as being helpful, without it having been a step-back. I suspect also, that this understanding will help others who follow in Shelli’s footsteps.

Time to Change the Treatment:

We will apply (again) for the Clinical Trial that allows for the Radiation being the first-line of treatment. The application process starts right away – likely Monday, but possibly even today. The answer should come in about the same amount of time as the last application – 7-10 days, we’re expecting.  (When I say that would be Wednesday the 22nd, give or take two days, does that sound too anxious?)

The Way Forward with the Trial:

If approved: We will know almost immediately whether Shelli has been randomized into the Trial Arm of treatment which is radiation (aka: PRRT or Lutathera), or the Control Arm which is some form of chemotherapy.

  • If Radiation – the earliest possible start will be a minimum of one month away, considering logistics alone: late-March to early-April. All of this will happen onsite at Mayo.
  • ·If Chemotherapy – Shelli would start that as soon as the order is filled. All chemotherapy can be done while at home, with follow-up scans occurring at Mayo.

The Way Forward without the Trial:

If not approved into the Trial: Shelli will start something, as soon as possible, likely chemotherapy in late-February.


So we have a way forward. Praise God! We fly home tomorrow.


Just a short update:

On Monday and Tuesday, the 27th and 28th, Mayo wants Shelli back for more testing. These tests are not to determine the details of the tumors, or even if she may be accepted into the trial – but to update the round of testing that occurred in December. It turns out those are now out of date, and they can’t make this renewed application officially until those boxes are all checked. Nobody is questioning her approval anymore, but are making sure that the details are all taken care of.

And because of the weather in Rochester this past week, and all of the flights that were canceled, and with the prediction of more crazy weather coming over the weekend and on into Monday and Tuesday, we have decided to drive. We stand a better chance of actually being onsite, rather than putting in airport time and hoping for the best.

Thank you for your prayers – for Shelli and any pain; for safety in the drive; for the medical professionals and those who connect the dots and set the schedules; for jobs that work with us; for wisdom throughout it all. And for peace.

Cancer Journey: